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"On the Northern Shoulder of Kursk with IABSM, Fight #2" Topic


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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 7:30 p.m. PST

All,

German Assault on Karpunevka

It's 0630 on 7 July 1943 in western Russia, where the I Battalion, Panzer Grenadier Regiment 101, 18th Panzer Division is carrying out an assault on Soviet defensive positions in and around the village of Snava (which is also a Soviet supply depot) held by elements of the 2nd Battalion, 676th Rifle Regiment, 15th Rifle Division. This is part of the German offensive to eliminate the Kursk salient, specifically on the northern shoulder of the bulge, as German forces push towards Ponyri.

I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve of the "Sound Officer's Call" blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a "Firestorm Ponyri" campaign. He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply 'dice off' for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.

It's been a little bit of an issue that I literally just sold off a bunch of German late war gear, so I'm a bit understrength, but Steve is working with me to make sure the fights I get match up with the forces I have. This is the first fight I've played, and I hope it wasn't too much a pain for him, I certainly want to keep going! First, I love to play games; second, it's been way too long since I've played any Eastern Front games (maybe eight years or so?); and lastly, I'm a solo gamer that still craves some comradery, so whenever I can help another wargamer out, I'm always quick to jump at it.

picture

Overview, north is up. There are a couple primitive roads, mostly running north-south, with a couple patches of heavy wood in the west (left), a large, man-made pond in the south (center bottom right), and the village of Snava in the east (right). Other than that it's flat terrain covered in crop fields broken up by a few stands of trees, with over grown brush flanking them. The brush provides limited concealment, but no cover, and does not block line of sight. The buildings of Snava are stout stone structures, offering good cover.

The orders of battle:

Germans
Battalion Commander
1st Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
2nd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
3rd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
Schwere Company (MG platoon of four MG-42s, mortar platoon of four 8.0cm tubes, infantry gun platoon of two 7.5cm guns, and an anti-tank platoon of two PaK-38 5.0cm guns)
Panzer Platoon (five Pz IIIJ with long 50mm)
Battery of 10.5cm Artillery (off table)
Flight of Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers (off table)

Soviet
Battalion Commander
1st Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
2nd Rifle Company (three platoons of three rifle squads)
Anti-Tank Rifle Platoon (3 x PTRS-41s)
Anti-Tank Platoon (4 x 45mm ATGs)
Field Gun Platoon (3 x 76.2mm "crash-boom" guns)
MG Platoon (4 x Maxim .30-cal MGs)
Mortar Platoon (3 x 82mm mortars)
Tank Platoon (three T-34/76s)

I'm playing in 10mm (figures, vehicles, and gear a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK) based at one stand=one squad, weapon, or vehicle. I'm playing this game using Too Fat Lardies' "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" rules, simplified a bit in terms of combat, morale, and movement.

picture

And again, this time with troops present. The Germans are attacking from the north (top); at top left is their 2nd Company, and at top center right is 1st Company, with their Schwere Company spread between them. The Soviets are dug-in to four strongpoints:
1) Strongpoint Marta (in woods at left center), where they have 1st Platoon, 1st Company (platoon commander, three rifle squads, a Maxim .30-cal MG, and a 45mm anti-tank gun)
2) Strongpoint Katarina (in stand of woods at bottom center), where they have 2nd Platoon (1st Company, same as 1st Plt)
3) Strongpoint Masha (top right), where they have 3rd Platoon, 1st Company (same as 1st Plt)
4) the village of Nava (right), where they have 1st Platoon, 2nd Company (same as 1st Plt, 1st Co), a platoon of three 76.2mm 'crash booms,' and just in front of them, a platoon of anti-tank rifles dug-in in an ambush position
The Soviets have a platoon of 82mm mortar platoon of a PC and three tubes.

The German Panzer Platoon will start off table but come on as soon as possible following the initial strikes by supporting fires. The Germans are holding their 3rd Company and AT Platoon off table, in reserve. The Soviets are holding 2nd Platoon, 2nd Company, and their T-34 platoon carrying 3rd Platoon, 2nd Company, off table in reserve.

picture

On the German left, Schwere Company elements (infantry guns, machine guns, and mortars, bottom left) attempt to shoot 1st Company (top left) into Strongpoint Masha (top center, with Snava at top right).

picture

The Soviets (bottom left) try to rally the defenders of Strongpoint Masha as the Germans advance (top right). This would be location of some of the most bitter, vicious fighting ever seen on a tabletop! ;)

picture

Panzer IIIs advance under fire.

picture

Though the Soviets had a rejoinder…

picture

Of course, these really help.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
link

Well, that was a helluva fight! I'm really loving how "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" is working out for these games, it's been a lot of fun. I'd complain about how long they're taking, but, then again, it's kinda my fault: IABSM is designed to play reinforced company-sized games, but I'm playing battalion-sized games, so I really can't blame the rules.

I actually played two fights in Kursk this weekend, so stay tuned for the Soviet counterattack at Kastenwald!

V/R,
Jack

Mark 124 Oct 2019 6:36 p.m. PST

Great AAR, Jack!

This is very much to my taste in wargaming. Real live combined arms combat, with enough room on the table, and enough forces, that the game invovled actual maneuvering. No bowling greens, parking lots of tanks or buckets of dice.

Oh, and a German force at Kursk that issn't comprised of Ferdinands, Tigers and Panthers.

Really nicely done. Looks like a very well constructed scenario, and the pics and AAR are a treat.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2019 7:42 p.m. PST

Mark,

First, thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I post a lot of batreps (typically two per week), and it's been pretty quiet around here. So thanks for letting me know that someone on TMP is reading them.

Second, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it, it was a helluva fight and a helluva lot of fun, and it's been part of a great, worldwide (well, at least western hemisphere) campaign.

This game (and the first one) were a bit larger than I typically play, being battalion-level (the Germans a reinforced battalion, the Soviets an understrength battalion), and they've been averaging about five hours to play, but IABSM is working for them. The next fight is a bit smaller, a reinforced Soviet company vs an understrength German company. I should have it posted Sunday evening.

V/R,
Jack

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